1 Oct 2011 Edition
You might have read in the local paper last month that only 64% of Yarra properties have a working smoke detector. Please check that the smoke detector in your home works properly.
There’s an amazing piece of infrastructure that cleans the air and reduces asthma and other respiratory illnesses, cuts building energy use, stores carbon, decreases stormwater runoff and river pollution, cuts drainage and road maintenance costs, slows wind and traffic, provides shade, improves biodiversity and lifts the value of your home. It’s called the tree. Next time leaves fall on your car or in your gutters, please consider these benefits.
In summer, trees and vegetation provide our city’s evaporative cooling system, and prevent heat-related illness and death. We need more of them, not less. While we’re maintaining our tree cover on public land, we’re losing it rapidly on private land, as more and bigger homes replace front and back yards. We don’t currently have planning tools and rules to change this, but if we want a liveable, sustainable city, we need to work on them.
The State Government wants to build apartments in the parkland around the Richmond and Fitzroy high-rise public housing estates. The residents of these towers have zero private open space – no backyards, courtyards or even balconies – and the parkland is public land.
Although Planning Minister Matthew Guy has taken all planning decision-making about these estates out of Council’s hands, we will be working to ensure that any private development or loss of open space on the estates only occurs in exchange for significant public benefit, such as better quality open space for existing residents, or new recreational facilities.
On Tuesday 11 October, we’ll host a talk by international cycling and public space guru Gil Penalosa at Fitzroy Town Hall. It’s free, starts at 7pm and everyone’s welcome. The next day is Ride to Work Day, and we’ll have a free breakfast for all cyclists at the Edinburgh Gardens rotunda. Hope to see you at both.
Cr Alison Clarke, Mayor
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